Jarrod W. Ramos is suspected of shooting and killing five individuals during a shooting spree at Maryland’s ‘Capital Gazette’ newspaper. Here’s everything we know about those who died.
At least five lives were claimed when a gunman entered the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis, Maryland on June 28, and now we know the names of those lost to such a senseless tragedy. One of the victims was Rob Hiassen, who was described in a tweet as a “veteran columnist, editor & journalism teacher.” He was also the brother of the Miami Herald‘s legendary columnist Carl Hiaasen. Rob was an was an assistant editor and columnist. Four of the victims were veteran newsroom journalists and one worked in sales. The other victims according to police include Wendi Winters, who was the special publications editor. John McNamara was a writer. Gerald Fischman was editorial page editor and Rebecca Smith was a sales assistant.
In the light of the horrific tragedy in the newsroom, colleagues at the neighboring Baltimore Sun — which shares the same owner — had the heartbreaking task of writing obits for the Capital Gazette‘s website as well as the Sun‘s. The paper celebrated 59-year-old Hiassen’s “wryly observant writing style and his generous mentoring of young journalists.” The publication noted he just celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary to wife Maria, whose 58th birthday was sadly on the same day as her husband’s murder.
In Fischman’s obit, the reporter wrote of the 61-year-old’s “brilliant mind, wry wit and ‘wicked pen’ that his colleagues would treasure.” If added that he had been with the paper for a quarter century and that “Fischman was the conscience and voice of the Annapolis news organization, writing scathing, insightful and always exacting editorials about the community.”
McNamara, 56, had been with the paper for 24 years as a writer who treasured sports reporting. His obituary celebrated his “flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. He had a razor wit that came in bursts like a social media post,” according one reporter. They noted that he enjoyed playing sports as much as writing about it and was a familiar face on the basketball courts of the Annapolis Recreation Center.
Winters, 65, had originally worked in fashion and public relations in New York City, but the mother of four’s true passion was local community news and she moved to Maryland 20 years ago. She originally worked in freelancer but had been with the Capital Gazette for 12 years. “She really loved storytelling,” said longtime editor Kathryn Flynn recalled in Wendi’s obit. “She loved working with people.”
Smith, 34, was the youngest victim and a recent hire by the paper. “She was a very thoughtful person,” advertising director Marty Padden said. “She was kind and considerate, and willing to help when needed. She seemed to really enjoy to be working in the media business.” You can read the full obits on all five victims on the paper’s site by clicking here.
You can read the most recent work of these journalists here:
As for the shooting suspect, he has been named as Jarrod W. Ramos. Cops say he engaged in a “targeted attack,” and is now in custody. UPDATE: As of the morning of June 29, Ramos has been charged with five counts of first degree murder, court records confirm. He went in front of a judge for a bail hearing at 10:30 a.m. on June 29, it was determined he would be held without bond.
Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf told reporters, “This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people.” Before allegedly shooting five and “gravely” injuring several others with a shotgun, Ramos brought a lawsuit against the Capital Gazette and a columnist who had covered a criminal harassment lawsuit brought against Ramos. In 2013, a court ruled against Ramos’ claims that he was being defamed, and that ruling was upheld in 2015 by Maryland’s second-highest court.
Following his capture, Ramos was reportedly uncooperative with authorities. On top of that, he even reportedly altered his fingerprints by mutilating them to the point where police could not identify him with his prints. However, he was eventually identified using facial recognition technology.